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Psychology Course Descriptions

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PS111fs    Introduction to Psychology      An examination of classical and contemporary topics in psychology including research methods, physiological psychology, sensation, perception, learning, memory, cognition, language, intelligence, development, emotion, personality, psychopathology, and social psychology. Students will participate in some in-class activities. Develops skills that will enhance understanding of the discipline of psychology, including explaining behavior from multiple theoretical perspectives, evaluating research results, applying research in real-world contexts, thinking about implications of research, and working collaboratively in a scientific context.     Four credit hours.  S.    FACULTY
PS214f    Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology I      Along with Psychology 215, provides students with knowledge of research design and statistical tools for working with data, which will allow them to engage in original empirical research. Topics include literature review, hypothesis formulation, issues of control and ethics in research, as well as descriptive and inferential statistics. Students prepare a written proposal for an experiment following the stylistic conventions of the American Psychological Association, work with SPSS, a powerful statistical software program, and practice a variety of statistical tests. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.  Q.    SOTO
PS215s    Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology II      Continuation of Psychology 214. Topics include experimental design, analysis of variance (ANOVA), interpretation of complex factorial studies, and oral and written communication of findings following the conventions of the American Psychological Association. Collaborative laboratory activities center on design, data collection, analyses, and oral and written communication of an original empirical research project. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite:  Psychology 214 and sophomore or junior standing.     Four credit hours.    ARTERBERRY
PS231j    History of Brain and Behavior      An exploration of philosophical, technological, and historical viewpoints on the relationships between the nervous system and behavior, from prehistory through the 20th century. Emphasis on ways in which advances in understanding the nervous system are related to shifts in thinking about human nature and the bases of cognition, emotion, and action. Consideration given to attempts to account for both normal and abnormal behavior in terms of the nervous system from neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and neuropsychological perspectives. Includes class presentations by students on selected topics as well as related written assignments. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Three credit hours.    YETERIAN
PS232f    Cognitive Psychology      Study of human cognition: how the cognitive system encodes, processes, and uses information. Emphasis is on theoretical models of pattern recognition, attention, memory, and language. We will approach these areas by discussing classic and contemporary research. We will integrate findings from behavioral studies, neuroscience, and special populations to gain understanding of the basic processes underlying normal cognitive operations and how these can be studied using the scientific method. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.    ESLICK
PS233s    Biological Basis of Behavior      Broad survey of behavioral neuroscience will include instruction on neural anatomy and function; modulation of these systems by hormones, drugs, and disease; and the neural basis of many behaviors of interest to psychologists, including sex, sleep, learning, and memory. Students will gain a comprehensive working knowledge of the mammalian central nervous system in the context of psychology to use as they learn the historical and modern framework of specific questions by reading and discussing research articles and completing assignments. Assignments will prepare students to write a research proposal on one topic they will learn about and critically analyze in more depth. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.    GLENN
PS234s    Theories of Learning      A comparative examination of the scientific study of learning from the perspectives of classical conditioning, instrumental learning, and operant learning theorists: Thorndike, Skinner, Hull, Pavlov, Guthrie, Estes, Tolman, and others. Consideration of historical antecedents, current issues, and applications to animal and human behavior. Includes reading and discussion of classic and modern scientific and popular articles, related written assignments, and oral presentation. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.    YETERIAN
PS236f    Drugs, Brain, and Behavior      A consideration of relationships among drugs, nervous system, conscious experience, and behavior. Historical and legal as well as psychopharmacological aspects of a wide variety of licit and illicit substances will be surveyed, including cocaine, amphetamines, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, opiates, marijuana, hallucinogens, psychotherapeutic and other prescription medications, and over-the-counter drugs. Includes critical reading and discussion of information drawn from scientific and popular media and related written and oral presentations. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.    YETERIAN
PS251s    Personality Psychology      Students will critically engage with the theories, methodologies, and research findings that influence current thinking about personality. Issues considered will include (a) approaches to studying personality and individual differences, (b) the influences of personality characteristics and situational factors on behavior, (c) the biological and environmental bases of personality, and (d) the cognitive, emotional, motivational, and perceptual processes that underlie personality. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.    SOTO
PS253s    Social Psychology      An examination of major topics and current issues and research in social psychology. Includes self-perception, social cognition, attitudes, interpersonal attraction, social influence, altruism, aggression, group processes, decision making, and various special applied topics such as social psychology and business, health, and the legal system. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.    PITTMAN
PS254f    Abnormal Psychology      An examination of major paradigms, current issues, and research in abnormal psychology. Includes definitions and conceptualizations of abnormality, diagnostic classification, epidemiology, etiology, and clinical intervention strategies as applied to the major categories of mental disorder. Special topics such as the cross-cultural study of psychopathology, the legal implications of diagnostic classifications, and the importance of co-morbidity in the study of psychopathology are addressed. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.    SHEETS
PS255s    Child Development      Presentation of the psychological principles as they relate to development. Focus topics include in utero development, cognitive development, physical development, social/emotional development, attachment, parenting, peers/play, gender roles, importance of context/culture in development, resiliency, and developmental research methods. Applied work helps students explore how to bridge the gap between research/theory and use of research/theory in the real world. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.    RAAG
[PS256]    Adolescent and Adult Development      Presentation of psychological principles as they relate to development with a focus on adolescence, emerging adulthood, adulthood, and aging. Topics include developmental responses to traumatic and positive life changes, death and dying, rites/rituals of passage, cultural influences on development, normative/non-normative development, and resiliency. An extensive unit on identity development highlights racial/ethnic, sexual, gender, class, religious, and career identities as well as the relationships of one's identity to one's social groups. Applied work helps students explore how to bridge the gap between research/theory and its use in the real world. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.  
[PS272]    Sensation and Perception      The major human senses (vision, audition, somesthesis, taste, smell) studied as physiological systems and as intermediaries between the physical and perceived environments. Lecture and integrated laboratory. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.  
PS275f    Human Neuropsychology      A survey of the neural bases of human cognition, emotion, and behavior, with integration of classic and contemporary data from clinical neuropsychology and behavioral neurology. Emphasis on ways in which nervous system dysfunction aids in understanding normal psychological processes. Topics include functional neuroanatomy, brain imaging, clinical evaluation, brain injury, seizures, motor disorders, communication disorders, disorders of attention and memory, neural substrates of psychological disorders, degenerative and infectious diseases, and emotional-motivational dysfunction. Students will write a critical review on a selected topic. Prerequisite:  Psychology 111.     Four credit hours.    YETERIAN
PS335s    Developmental Psychology Seminar      Psychological principles as they relate to human development. After focusing on developmental theories, students select and address specific topics, such as bullying, domestic violence, development with disabilities, parenting stress, poverty, development during wartime, and systems of discrimination (sexism/racism/homophobia/classism). Research methods in development (which are unique and different from methods in other sub-areas of psychology) are also explored. Students are expected to participate in applied work and to reflect on how to bridge the gap between research/theory and its use in the real world. Prerequisite:  Psychology 255 or 256, and permission of the instructor.     Four credit hours.    RAAG
PS336f    Seminar in Experimental Social Psychology      Critical examination of various areas of research in social psychology, with an emphasis on current issues. Discussion topics may include attitude structure and change, cognitive dissonance, group dynamics, health beliefs and behavior, justice, reasoning, self-presentation, social cognition, and stereotypes. Formerly listed as Psychology 356. Prerequisite:  Psychology 215 and 253, and concurrent enrollment in 337.     Four credit hours.    PITTMAN
PS337f    Collaborative Research in Social Psychology      Laboratory involving collaborative empirical research projects on topics discussed in Psychology 336. Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in Psychology 336.     One credit hour.    PITTMAN
PS339s    Seminar in Personality Psychology      Critical examination of theories and research addressing a variety of topics in personality psychology. Topics considered will include (a) the organization and structure of personality, (b) the development of personality across the lifespan, and (c) the influences of personality characteristics and situational factors on behavior. Prerequisite:  Psychology 215 and 251, and concurrent enrollment in Psychology 340.     Four credit hours.    SOTO
PS340s    Collaborative Research in Personality Psychology      Collaborative empirical research projects on topics discussed in Psychology 339. Students will design, conduct, and report research to address unanswered questions about personality. Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in Psychology 339.     One credit hour.    SOTO
PS341s    Seminar in Memory      In-depth study of one or more areas of memory. Current theories are explored and empirical research testing these theories is evaluated. Discussion topics may include types of memory, memory distortions, and the relationship between attention and memory. Ongoing evaluation of current theories and the empirical research in the field as well as interpreting data and placing it within a broad theoretical context will be achieved through reading and discussing original research articles. In-class discussion and discussion questions/responses will assess the achievement of these goals. Prerequisite:  Psychology 215 and 232, and concurrent enrollment in Psychology 342.     Four credit hours.    ESLICK
PS342s    Collaborative Research in Memory      Collaborative empirical research projects on topics discussed in Psychology 341. Students will conduct original empirical work addressing an original research question on a specific topic in memory being addressed in the seminar component. Following the guidelines of the American Psychological Association, students' competence in research and communication will be assessed through written assignments and oral presentations, both collaborative and individual. Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in Psychology 341.     One credit hour.    ESLICK
PS343s    Seminar in Emotion Theory and Research      Critical examination of various areas of research in emotion, with an emphasis on current issues. Discussion topics may include models of emotion, emotion antecedents and appraisal, emotional response (facial expression, subjective report, physiological arousal), emotion regulation, and dysfunctional emotion in the context of psychopathology. Prerequisite:  Psychology 215 and 254, and concurrent enrollment in Psychology 344.     Four credit hours.    SHEETS
PS344s    Collaborative Research in Emotion      Laboratory involving collaborative empirical research projects on topics discussed in Psychology 343. Students design, conduct, and present original research on emotion. Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in Psychology 343.     One credit hour.    SHEETS
[PS345]    Seminar in Perception and Action      Critical examination of various areas of research in human movement and coordination, with an emphasis on the role of action for understanding cognition, perception, and social interaction. Discussion topics may include classical explanations of human movement and motor control, perception and action, mimicry and imitation, affordances, dynamical systems theory, locomotion and postural control, intrapersonal and interpersonal coordination, social action, and the adaptive properties of movement variability and noise. Prerequisite:  Psychology 215 and either 232 or 272, and concurrent enrollment in Psychology 346.     Four credit hours.  
[PS346]    Collaborative Research in Perception and Action      Course involving collaborative empirical research projects on topics discussed in Psychology 345. Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in Psychology 345.     One credit hour.  
PS347f    Seminar in Cognitive Development      Study of several areas of cognitive development focusing on preschool-aged children. Current theories and empirical research are explored with an emphasis on developmental processes. Discussion topics may include memory development, children's information processing, and problem solving. Reading and discussion of empirical research articles allow for development of skills for evaluating current empirical research, placing new data within a theoretical context, and explaining cognitive development from several theoretical perspectives. Prerequisite:  Psychology 215, and either 232 or 255, and concurrent enrollment in 348.     Four credit hours.    ARTERBERRY
PS348f    Collaborative Research in Cognitive Development      Collaborative empirical research projects on topics discussed in Psychology 347. Empirical work addressing an original research question on a topic pertaining to preschool-age children's cognitive development. Collaborative and individual oral and written assignments, following the conventions of the American Psychological Association, evaluate students' research and communication competencies. Includes working with children in a local early-childhood program. Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in Psychology 347.     One credit hour.    ARTERBERRY
PS349f    Seminar in Neural Plasticity and Behavior      Several topics within the field of behavioral neuroscience will be examined in depth with an emphasis on rat models of cognition and emotion. Current and historical contexts will be examined and discussion topics will focus on varieties of neural plasticity and their relevance to behavior, including adult hippocampal neurogenesis, neuron morphology, neurotransmitter function, protein expression, and how these plastic features pertain to memory consolidation, anxious and exploratory behaviors, stress reactivity and consequences, social interactions, and/or fear. Reading and discussion of empirical and review papers will develop skills to critically evaluate, integrate, and synthesize published and generated data. Prerequisite:  Psychology 215 and 233, and concurrent enrollment in Psychology 350.     Four credit hours.    GLENN
PS350f    Collaborative Research in Neural Plasticity      Collaborative empirical research projects on topics discussed in Psychology 349. Empirical work addressing an original research question on a topic pertaining to a feature of brain plasticity and a corresponding behavioral construct will be conducted. Collaborative and individual oral and written assignments, following the conventions of the American Psychological Association, will be used to evaluate students' research and communication competencies. Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in Psychology 349.     One credit hour.    GLENN
PS352f    Sex and Gender Seminar      Psychological principles as they relate to sex/gender/sexuality. Focus topics including theoretical perspectives of how the dimensions of sex/gender/sexuality are formed will be addressed in the first half of the term; specific topics related to sex/gender/sexuality in the second half. Focus topics are selected by students and have included dating violence, gender bullying, homophobic/transphobic bullying, domestic violence, links between systems of discrimination (sexism/racism/homophobia/classism). Students are expected to participate in applied work and to reflect on how to bridge the gap between research/theory and using research/theory in the real world to think about solving social problems linked to sex/gender/sexuality. Prerequisite:  Psychology 255 and permission of the instructor.     Four credit hours.    RAAG
PS374f    Seminar: Psychology and Neuroscience      Exploration of the vast intersection between the fields of psychology and neuroscience. Selected topics will be covered in depth to gain insight and understanding about how psychology has shaped and contributed to the field of neuroscience and how findings from neuroscience aid psychological research and theories. Topics may include developmental and degenerative neuropathology and the impact of environment, genetics, psychological factors, and sociocultural contexts over them. Students will read, critically evaluate, and discuss empirical and theoretical papers as they gain depth of knowledge on different topics. Students will be expected to present their ideas in oral and written form and will work on a collaborative writing project. Prerequisite:  Psychology 233.     Four credit hours.    GLENN
PS375s    Human Neuropsychology Seminar      Exploration of classic and current issues in human brain-behavior relationships through reading and discussion of classic and current primary as well as secondary literature. Integration of animal experimental and human clinical data. Topics may include neural bases of learning and memory, neural substrates of aggression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, sex differences in human brains, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, posttraumatic stress disorder, dyslexia, neural bases of emotion, bipolar disorder, and psychosurgery. Includes student presentations on selected topics and written critical research reviews. Prerequisite:  Psychology 233 or 275.     Four credit hours.    YETERIAN
PS416fs    Senior Empirical Research      A senior independent empirical project conducted in one semester that addresses a question about human or animal behavior or mental processes. Students will be expected to carry out all phases of a research investigation, including a literature review, study design, data collection and analyses, and writing a final report. Prerequisite:  Psychology 214, content area courses relevant to the research topic, and permission of the department.     Three credit hours.    ARTERBERRY, GLENN
PS420fs    Senior Integrative Seminar      A culminating experience for students majoring in psychology, organized around the department's research colloquium series. Students will critically engage with a variety of current psychological research and will integrate theories, methodologies, and findings across areas of psychology. Specifically, students will attend research presentations by invited guest speakers, read companion papers selected by the speakers, meet in a seminar session to discuss each speaker's presentation, and write a final paper that integrates the theories, methodologies, or research findings of at least two colloquium speakers. Prerequisite:  Senior standing in psychology and permission of the instructor.     Three credit hours.    ESLICK
PS483f, 484s    Honors Research I      Under faculty supervision, students prepare a proposal and carry out an independent, empirical project culminating in the preparation of a paper of publishable quality and a formal presentation. A 3.50 major average at the end of the senior year is a condition of successful completion of this program. Application required during junior year. Prerequisite:  A 3.50 major average at the end of the junior year and permission of the department.     Four credit hours.    FACULTY
PS491f, 492s    Independent Study      Individual projects, under faculty supervision, in areas in which the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. Cannot be counted toward the psychology major or minor. Prerequisite:  Permission of the instructor.     One to four credit hours.    FACULTY